The Prayers Of Agnes Sparrow

Joyce Magnin

Joyce Magnin is the author of The Prayers Of Agnes Sparrow, short fiction and personal experience articles. She co-authored the book, Linked to Someone in Pain. She has been published in such magazines as Relief Journal, Parents Express, Sunday Digest, and Highlights for Children. Joyce attended Bryn Mawr College and is a member of the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Fellowship. She is a frequent workshop leader at various writer’s conferences and women’s church groups. She has three children, Rebekah, Emily, and Adam; one grandson, Lemuel Earnest; one son-in-law, Joshua, and a neurotic parakeet who can’t seem to keep a name. Joyce leads a small fiction group called StoryCrafters. She enjoys baseball, football, cream soda, and needle arts but not elevators. She currently lives in Havertown, Pennsylvania. You can also visit her blog at:

The Great Paradigm Shift of 2010

It’s a bright, shiny new year and you know what that means. Resolutions. For some reason, every January people all over the world resolve to do something that will hopefully make him or her a better person: lose weight, quit smoking, stop nail-biting, put a new coat of paint on the garage door. Many will try. Few will succeed. But making resolutions is a good thing. I suppose. Me? Nah, I never make resolutions. I won’t keep them. Until now. I have made a New Year’s resolution that I hope will not only make my life easier but also will cut down on the possibility of killing myself and or others in traffic, shave minutes if not hours off the amount of time I spend searching for a pen or a notebook or a bottle of Tylenol or my keys or my school ID tag or my wallet. Any guesses?

Joyce MagninThat’s right. I resolve to do something about my deplorable handbag situation. You see, I carry a bag. It’s really just a sack with a strap that carries all my stuff. Stuff is important. I need my stuff. We all have stuff. But I am sick and tired of hearing my phone jingle while driving and then rooting through the bag, praying I will put my fingers on it while swerving to nearly miss the apparently suicidal squirrel that ran out in front of the car. I am fed up with searching in the black hole that is my bag for a pen and only finding fuzzy throat drops and crumbs from something I can’t identify. I mean, what is it with these bags? How does it happen that all of sudden when you need something, your checkbook for instance, that your bag transforms into Mary Poppins’s carpetbag, and you find yourself standing in line at the market, up to your shoulders in your bag, looking for your club card and all you can pull out is a floor lamp. You know what I mean. We’ve all done it.

But this year, this year I am on the search for the perfect bag. A bag with powers to turn me into an organized bag maven with everything at my fingertips. Perhaps a magical bag that I can issue commands, too. I want a bag that will carry all my stuff—including a book or two, keys, ID tag, wallet, notebooks, pens, tissues, Tylenol, various and sundry necessary items, you know, just in case. I mean you never know when you’ll need a Band-Aid or a lightbulb or batteries or a pair of funny glasses with the big nose and mustache. Am I right? So where is this bag of 2010? It needs to be pretty, not simply utilitarian, made with natural materials, not plastic or nylon. It has to be just the right size and hopefully visible from the moon and maybe glow in the dark, since I tend to lose the entire bag from time to time, which is a whole other problem.

I’ve been researching these messenger bags lately, and I’ve seen a couple I like. But I haven’t decided. So I am opening it up to

discussion. If anyone has any suggestions, please e-mail me. This is a huge paradigm shift for me. I have been carrying my same bag for years and years and possibly more years. I like my bag, but the madness needs to stop. I mean, really, if there was a Handbags Anonymous I would join. “Hello, my name is Joyce, and my handbag is out of control.”

There must be a way to help me become just a tad more organized, a smidgen less frustrated. I really am a little tired of the odd looks I get from people. There was the time I was certain I had a coupon for a dollar off a sack of Fritos and I ended up dumping the bag on the conveyor belt at the market. It wasn’t pretty. The checker didn’t turn the belt off and the next thing we knew, the manager was pulling receipts and a Moleskine notebook (not to mention my hair) from the mechanism. But, hey, admitting you have a problem is the first step. So send your suggestions and maybe, just maybe, I’ll find my cell phone one day while driving without killing a squirrel.

Happy New Year!

The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow has been selected as one of the top five Christian Inspirational titles of 2009 by Library Journal.

The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow